Steelway Rail, helping to restore Britain's Rail Infrastructure to its former glory
Steelway Rail the new specialist rail division of The Steelway Group is experiencing unprecedented growth in it’s new division thanks to it’s specialist knowledge of the rail industry and the massive investment by the government and Network rail in rail infrastructure during the past ten years.
The group’s recent purchase of heritage rail business PP Mackindale has further enhanced the company’s recognised position as a major provider of architectural metalwork and steel fabrication for the rail industry. The acquisition has given Steelway a unique portfolio of products that can now be manufactured in Cast Iron, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminium and GRP.
The groups involvement with the rail industry dates back to the early 1930’s and the experience and knowledge gained from over 80 years in this sector has provided them with an enviable reputation.
The company holds LINK -UP Approval to Proof Audited Scheme and have successfully completed a number of projects on the National Rail Network at Moor Street Station, Birmingham, the Piccadilly extension line for Heathrow terminal 5 as well as projects for Severn Valley Railway and West Somerset Railways to name but a few. The increasing demand for refurbishment and in particular replica products for restoration work across the network requires a company that are proficient in cast production, and with an ability to replicate design concepts from drawings that often date back to the victorian age.
Steelway Rail are currently involved in a wide range of projects on the rail network across the United Kingdom which involves the design, supply, and installation of access structures including stairways walkways, platforms, and guardrail systems. Their refurbishment projects are varied and extend well beyond traditional railway requirements. The earlier the involvement on a refurbishment project, the better especially where detailed replication is required.
A recent project has been to develop replacement Great Western Railway Speartop Fencing which replicates the appearance of the original but with the benefits of a Galvanised finish prior to the powder coating. This has given clients the ability to retain or re- create the genuine appearance but reducing the maintenance that would otherwise absorb cost in future years. Attention to detail is all important and so care has been given to accurately produce gate details to original design concepts which in turn are hung on replica balltop cast iron posts. Recent installations include Minehead, St. Austell and Lemington Spa.
A typical Railway feature which has been given the Steelway treatment recently are the corrugated huts used throughout the former GWR System. One such is the Grade II listed Pagoda former booking office at Denham which has been restored for Chiltern Railways. The badly distorted and fire damaged buildings was transported from its home to the Steelway Wolverhampton facility where it was stripped to its skeletal frame. After straightening or replacing as necessary it was re-skinned in brand new cladding to the original specification.
Polyester powder paint was then applied to the galvanised sheets to the specially formulated authentic 1930’s colour. New doors were manufactured to the original specification and appearance to replace the modern door which had previously been fitted. Similar projects have been carried out elsewhere including A traditional lamp hut for SVR at Hampton Loade Station again restored and re-sheeted but left in a galvanised finish for the client’s volunteers to finish painting. One of a number of options open to keep the cost down for Private Heritage lines.
A recent high profile project was the restoration of the former Pwllheli Turntable for the West Somerset Railway at Minehead The very badly wasted and corroded 55 ft structure required a 10 ft extension which was carried out using GWR 1920’s modification drawings produced by the GWR in order that they could extend railway turntables as and when required. The whole of the decking structure required replacement together with the bottom 7 inches of both main beams whilst ensuring that the Authentic appearance was retained right down to the last rivet. As part of the scheme Steelway produced new GWR cast iron yard lamp posts which were cast for the first time in 70 years.
As Steelway continue to expand their range of products with the on going production of new patterns they are aware that consumable items are in some cases not easy to obtain. In order to resolve one such need they now offer new leather bags (hoses) for water columns - based on the use of traditional leather and copper rivet construction. A current project is the production of a replica GWR ticket collectors kiosk for Moor Street Station - this has been produced from traditional pitch pine but is steel lined to satisfy the current needs - similar schemes are welcomed.
Steelway are about to produce another historical recreation which is a canopy for a major listed West Country Station. The project is to replicate the structure which was removed in the 1960’s. As always detail is everything such as the patent glazing sections which are accurately reproduced based on the systems supplied by Henry Hope and sons a hundred years ago with the benefits of modern finishes available in any Heritage colour.
The simple message is that if a project exists that requires an authentic scheme but with an awareness of the long term maintenance costs - Steelway are keen to be involved!